March 2019

....don't let the big one get away
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Call 919-349-6112 to book a trip
What's going on and things to think about
With 200+ destinations from Cuba, South America, Rocky Mountains, Russia, Caribbean, Alaska and more, I'm excited to announce my new association with Fly Water Travel. We have a staff of 12 travel specialist concentrating on specific destinations and your travel logistics. Give me a call and we can begin planning your next fly fishing destination trip. Click on a picture to explore the opportunities. Select "Freshwater" or "Saltwater" for specific destinations.

Shad fishing started a few weeks ago, is strong now, and will begin declining toward the last half of March. But until then, you can catch a bunch. Some fish are already upriver spawning and the rest are upriver of New Bern. My favorite lures are shad spoons and darts made by Nungesser and small plastics on jigheads made by Charlie Brewer. Chartreuse, white, red and pink are my favorite colors. Don't forget to mark your favorite shad holes because the stripers are coming and in some cases are already mixed in.

March also means that the stripers are getting ready to move upriver to spawn. As March progresses, the striper bite at New Bern, and slightly upriver, will slow down as the stripers move to Goldsboro and Raleigh. Until then concentrate on the river ledges and drops. Since these drops and ledges can be 15'+ and you have river current to consider, heavier jigheads need to be used. Consider 3/8 oz. and maybe even 1/2 oz. if the current is strong. Use your electronics to find the schools. If you have side imaging, this is a great application. You might not know if the school you detect are stripers or gars, but you will soon. A big old gar is a nice fighting fish even though it might not be your target.

The water is back up into the 50's which makes everything livelier. As March progresses, the trout will begin moving out of their winter waters and begin to move toward the rivers. As a result, some larger trout will be found. They won't make it all the way out of the creeks in March, but they will begin moving towards their mouths. If you're a weekend fisherman, you should begin your search migration also. From week to week, the fish will be a hundreds yards plus closer to the mouths. Remember the fall when the trout moved into the creeks and migrated toward the back. This will be just the opposite. Again, keep using the smaller lures and plastics like the ZMan Slim Swimz under a cigar popping cork. Once the water hits the upper 50's and maybe the low 60's, larger plastic can be used. Suspended baits like the Mirrorlure MR14 and MR17 series are also a good choice. Also, topwater action will pick up as the water temperature increases. If your topwater hooks are rusty and need replacing, consider using inline single hooks. These hooks cause less trauma to the fish and protect you from getting a handful of treble hooks whenever the fish shakes its head during release.
New Striper Regulations for the Central Region
At the February Marine Fisheries meeting, the commissioners voted to close the possession of stripers in the joint and coastal waters for the Central Region. This has not been fully implemented yet and might only be partially implement. Their decision doesn't affect inland waters which still has a possession creel of 2 fish as of this writing. Inland waters are managed by NC Wildlife. Until all the regulations get settled, you should check both the NC Wildlife and NC Marine fisheries websites for updates.
Rod and Reel Maintenance

For a lot of fishermen, early March is the last time to maintenance their rods, reels, and line before spring fishing gets into full swing. Some of them have been sitting dormant for a few months and are probably sticky. Go to your local tackle shop and get some oil and grease to add to your soap and water. For rods, wash the cork handles, shaft and eyes with a sponge and soapy water. Then rinse with fresh water. It will remove a lot of your hand oil that got into the cork pores last year and sediment on the rod. For reels, oil the bail and grease the bearings and shafts. Once applied, work the reel to let the lubricants get into the proper locations and reapply as needed. If you use mono line, replace it because it's inexpensive. Don't lose that trophy fish over $5. If you use braid, reverse it on your spool. Braid can last a few years if properly maintained.
Bass Master Classic
If anyone is going to the Bass Master Classic in Knoxville TN March 15-17, stop by the St Croix rod booth and say hello. I'll be there throughout the event. St Croix is releasing 9 new bass rods at the Classic. Don't forget to stop by the ZMan booth to see their products, too. St Croix and ZMan are partnering for a special promotion, Rip and Chatter, at the Classic only.
Stripers in Weldon
Stripers will begin arriving in Weldon, on the Roanoke River, in mid April and last toward the end of May. I'll be fishing Weldon May 4-11 and then heading home for the start of cobia season. Live bait, artificial and on the fly will be our methods. I focus on the first of May because the spawn is in full swing and about half of the boats have already gone home. It's less congested, you can catch just as many fish, and it is much more pleasurable to me.
Don't Wait Too Long to Book your Bull Red Trip
Bull red season is our most popular fishery on the Neuse River and the Pamlico Sound. As a result, the dates get filled quicker than other times of the year. I have several dates already booked for the bull season. Don't wait too long before you call. I fish topwater, popping cork, bottom with bait and fly fish for these monsters. We can combine a morning bull red trip with an afternoon flounder, trout or slot red trip if you desire. The local restaurants will be happy to cook them.
From bucket list or just a few days away, give me a call
F a l l Trout Fishing in the Southern Appalachain Mtns.  - October 11-13 and 13-15

Fall in the mountains, floating down a river, or hiking to some backwater streams, what could be more relaxing and refreshing after the summer's heat. This package includes 2-3 nights accommodation, multiple meals, and both wade and drift fishing. I can take 6 on each trip.
Mosquito Lagoon, Florida
Enjoy a skinny water trip to the world famous Mosquito Lagoon in Florida. It's located an hour from Orlando so include it in your Disney trip with the kids or grand kids, or just slip away for a few days. You can fish a day or spend several nights in cabins on the water. It's great for sight fishing using conventional and fly gear. Also, this is a great corporate event if you have meetings in Orlando.

With 200+ destinations from Cuba, South America, Rocky Mountains, Russia, Caribbean, Alaska and more, Fly Water Travel is a dedicated fly fishing travel agency. We have a staff of 12 travel specialist concentrating on specific destinations and your travel logistics. Give me a call and we can begin planning your next fly fishing destination trip.
I'm booking trips for all of these guys now, give me a call
Baldheaded Bobby Guide Service
PO Box 961
Oriental, NC 28571